Your deck or patio isn’t just a structure; it’s where you create memories, entertain guests and unwind with your family. So, when it comes to hiring the right professionals to build your patio or deck, it’s crucial to do your homework. Not all deck and patio builders are cut from the same cloth, and choosing the best one can make all the difference in the success of your project. Here are seven key factors to consider when choosing a deck or patio builder.
When you’re in the early stages of comparing deck and patio builders, you’ll likely have many questions. It’s only natural to engage in back-and-forth communication with your potential builder, discussing estimates, design ideas and project details.
Professional contractors understand the importance of responsive communication and won’t keep you waiting.
If you reach out to a builder and they take days to respond, that’s a red flag. Reputable builders with well-organized businesses prioritize prompt communication during the initial stages, as well as throughout construction.
They’ll be eager to address your questions and concerns, demonstrating their commitment to your project’s success. And when your project comes together beautifully, it may become a case study they can show to other potential clients.
2. Clear Cost and Payment Terms
Estimates are just a starting point for your project’s cost, but trustworthy deck and patio builders will provide a clear breakdown of expenses. They should be able to draw from past projects and references to provide a realistic estimate that helps you:
- Plan your budget and identify affordable options.
- Set a realistic timeline for project completion.
- Understand material choices and associated costs.
A builder who hesitates to share cost details, payment terms or references should raise suspicions. You have every right to seek transparency and clarity regarding the financial aspects of your project.
3. The Contractor’s Personality
While technical skills are important, the personality of your builder matters, too. Even if a builder is highly skilled, you’ll still need to interact with them regularly during the project.
Dealing with short tempers or an unpleasant demeanor can add unnecessary stress to an already challenging home renovation process.
Choose a deck or patio builder who not only excels in their craft but is also easy to work with. You want to easily be able to communicate your preferences or ideas. If you find it difficult to connect with your builder or feel that they don’t value your input, it may be wise to consider other options.
4. Follow-up and Repair Services
While not mandatory, it’s wise to inquire about each contractor’s follow-up, repair services or maintenance services. Knowing whether they offer warranties on their work, discounts on repairs or follow-up appointments to address any post-construction issues can provide you with peace of mind.
Common follow-up and repair services offered by reputable landscaping contractors include:
- Addressing errors or damage resulting from faulty installation.
- Rectifying damage caused by adverse weather conditions when specified in the construction details.
- Checking for settling concerns post-construction.
- Ensuring your satisfaction within a reasonable timeframe.
- Providing discounted repair services for any work done by the builder.
Deck and patio builders who stand behind their work and prioritize customer satisfaction are typically willing to offer these services. If a builder doesn’t provide any guarantees or post-construction support, it’s worth considering other options.
5. End Date Plan
Establishing a clear end date for your project is crucial. While it can be challenging to predict an exact end date, a reliable builder should be able to negotiate a reasonable timeframe for project completion. To gauge a builder’s commitment to meeting deadlines, consider speaking with their previous clients about their experiences.
A builder who refuses to commit to an end date may lack experience, knowledge or dedication to your project. The ability to plan and adhere to an end date is a sign of a builder’s professionalism and reliability.
6. Permitting Requirements
Understanding and obtaining the necessary building permits can be a complex process. Some deck and patio builders offer the convenience of handling permitting on your behalf, saving you time and effort.
While homeowners can obtain permits themselves, having a builder who manages this aspect is advantageous.
Builders who are experienced in securing permits can expedite the process and ensure compliance with local regulations, including those on retaining walls. Be aware that some counties may limit the number of permits a builder can have open simultaneously.
7. Licensing and Insurance
When it comes to hiring a deck or patio builder, never compromise on licensing and insurance. While it may seem tempting to save money by hiring an unlicensed or uninsured builder, doing so can have severe consequences in the long run.
The risks of hiring an unlicensed and uninsured builder include:
- Potential liability for damages to neighboring properties.
- Responsibility for injuries sustained on your property during or after construction.
- Fines from the county for operating without proper permits.
Licensing is typically granted by the county where the builder operates, ensuring they meet specific requirements and adhere to professional standards. Insurance coverage protects you and the builder’s employees in the event of accidents or injuries on the job.
Your Search for Deck and Patio Builders
Selecting the right deck or patio builder involves careful consideration of all of the seven qualities detailed above. By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed choice and ensure a successful and stress-free project.
Book a phone consultation with us today to discover what the right deck and patio builders can do for you.